Term of Award

Summer 2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

T. C. Chan

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Douzenis

Committee Member 2

Catherine Wooddy

Committee Member 3

Fred Page


During the 2000 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers felt there was a need to improve education in Georgia. The A-Plus Education Reform Act of 2000 was passed in response to their concerns. One section of this act mandated that public schools reduce class sizes. This mandated reduction in class size has had different impacts on Georgia school systems. Successful implementation has been a daunting task for some school systems. School systems have reported different experiences and challenges during the initial phases of implementation. Problem areas have ranged from a lack of classroom space to teacher availability. These problems hav e been sources of considerable discussion. Research was needed to document how Georgia school systems were meeting the challenges of this mandated reduction in class sizes.

This research study was designed to examine the initial responses of school systems to the state-initiated CSR program and to explore superintendent's perceptions regarding the effects of this mandate on the facility planning process of their school systems. Quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry and analysis were utilized in order to fulfill the goals of this study. In order to collect information necessary for this study, public school superintendents were chosen as the best possible respondents. Because no valid survey instrument existed, the researcher had to develop one. This comprehensive survey, developed by the researcher, was then mailed to all Georgia school superintendents except for the five that had participated in the pilot study, hollow-up interviews with six superintendents were also conducted. Once the surveys had been returned and all follow-up interviews were conducted, the researcher analyzed the data to determine patterns and trends. The survey information helped to identify issues related to Georgia's class size reduction (CSR) mandate. Survey results and follow-up interviews also provided an understanding of the initial school district responses to the Georgia CSR initiative as well as the perceptions of superintendents regarding this mandate.

Based on the findings of this study, several conclusions were drawn. The CSR mandate affected the availability of school facilities. Most school systems had to add classrooms as a result of the CSR mandate particularly at the K.-3 level. New construction was the preferred method of providing additional classrooms. Renting/purchasing portables and using floating teachers were also commonly utilized options. Some systems chose to convert teacher preparation rooms/lounges into classrooms.

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